I love hearing about or reading stories of people learning a new skill that helps others in a significant way.
John Cuomo was an active firefighter and paramedic for nearly 25 years, and he tells the story of becoming a pension expert in his book, Leadership Refined by Fire.
Beforehand, John knew nothing about stocks or investing even though he was the pension representative at his fire department for about ten years. His drive and curiosity pushed him to attend UCF Certified Financial Planning courses. Apparently, something clicked.
When John started his role as the pension rep, the fire department was only contributing 2.25% of a firefighter’s pay each year. The math reveals that upon retiring after 25 years, the firefighter would receive 56.25% of their earnings.
John’s love of lifelong learning, along with the desire to help others, resulted in positive changes for his fellow firefighters. John was able to negotiate a change in the accrual to 3.25% and, later, 3.5%. But here’s the sweetheart deal in this negotiation. John was able to have these accruals set up retroactively for anyone with accruals with a lower percentage.
The return on lifelong learning is incalculable, especially when it impacts others.
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